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Use of egg bar shoes in horses suffering from navicular syndrome
  1. Sue Dyson1 and
  2. Alison Talbot2
  1. 1Centre for Equine Studies, Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU
  2. 2Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital, University of Liverpool, Leahurst Campus, Neston, Cheshire, CH64 7TE

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WE read with interest the article ‘Current concepts of navicular syndrome: diagnosis and treatment’, by Richard Coomer, Holly Thomas and Shaun McKane in In Practice (June 2013, vol 35, pp 325-335).

While the article provides a good basic overview of the complex topic of navicular syndrome and helps to simplify some of the recent advances that have been made in our understanding of the condition, it also appears to contain some misleading and unsubstantiated opinions that we feel obliged to comment on.

The following statement is of greatest concern: ‘Egg bar shoes are contraindicated for navicular syndrome and we no longer use them because they provide no frog and minimal heel support. They do not reduce the force exerted by the DDFT on the navicular bone and can also negatively affect stride quality (Willemen and others 1999). When used in clinical cases, we have found that eventually the whole sole can collapse through the central hole in the shoe, creating or exacerbating the broken back hoof pastern axis and increasing tension on the navicular apparatus.’

Although it is true that Willemen and colleagues found that egg bar shoes did not reduce the force exerted by the DDFT on the navicular bone and seemed to reduce …

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